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Flashback to 2008 – San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Flashback to 2008 – San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Flashback to 2008 – a trip to Houston to visit a friend turns into a 2 day whirlwind tour of San Antonio and Austin. First stop – the San Antonio Missions! There are FOUR Missions in San Antonio and it is absolutely possible to visit them all in a single day!

It was my first EVER trip to Texas, and I remember thinking how flat everything was compared to the east coast. Now living on the west coast, I think the east coast is flat too!  San Antonio is about 3+ hours from Houston and 4+ hours from Dallas.

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The bells at Mission Espada

Even in November, the weather was hot – a very welcome change from New England.  We arrived from the south and made our way towards the center of the city.

Our first stop was Mission (San Francisco de la) Espada, the southernmost mission. Founded in 1690, it was the first mission in Texas.  It relocated to its present location in 1731.  I remember wandering among the foundations and random doorways standing by themselves, and an aqueduct behind this façade.  The doors are all very short, btw.

Next up was Mission San Juan (Capistrano), founded in 1716 and moved to its present location in 1731.  The façade has been restored to a whitewashed stone since my visit.  The was a lot of open space at this mission, and little shade – a good tip for a hot summer day!

Mission San Juan, 2008. It has since been restored to a whitewashed stone façade.
Mission San Juan, 2008. It has since been restored to a whitewashed stone façade.

Next up was my favorite mission, Mission San José (y San Miguel de Aguayo), the home of the Rose Window.   Founded in 1720 and completed in 1782, it was the largest mission in the San Antonio area.  It has beautiful gardens and an active church.

Mission San Jose, my personal favorite, due to the exceptional gardens
Mission San Jose, my personal favorite, due to the exceptional gardens
The Rose Window
The Rose Window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least was Mission Concepción (Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña), founded in 1716, and moved to the current location in 1731.  The church was dedicated in 1755 after 15 years of construction, and is the oldest unrestored stone church in America.  There are beautiful frescos on the inside of the church.

Mission
Mission Concepción

Since my visit, the city of San Antonio has completed the Mission Riverwalk Hike & Bike trail – over 8 miles of protected trail along the river that runs from the Alamo to Mission Espada.  There are water fountains along the route and signs indicating where to exit for each Mission.  Check it out!

The Alamo, the most well know San Antonio Mission, is not park of the National Historic Park. It is, however, part of the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This is a great trip for fall, winter or spring, when the weather is not unbearable.  Have a great trip!

Remember, the Alamo....is not part of the National Historic Park, but is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Remember, the Alamo….is not part of the National Historic Park, but is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Yoga in the Park

Yoga in the Park

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park would like to invite you to practice yoga in their park, for free! Sounds like a great excuse to get some friends together and experience your park in a new way. A little yoga in the sun, bonding time, and a few laughs in a national park is a recipe for an epic outing! Heather and I are huge fans of yoga and have both practiced for a few years now. Both of us were drawn to yoga for different reasons and at different times, but we share a passion for its physical and mental benefits.

Dancer's pose on the beach at sunset
Dancer pose in Costa Rica 2015

There isn’t one reason I enjoy yoga, rather it’s a multitude of them. It provides me with a moment of stillness, relaxation, and quiet all while moving in and out of postures. It not only strengthens my physical body, but my mind as well. Whether you are a beginner or advanced yogi there is always something new to learn about your practice and yourself. My go-to posture is Lord of the Dance (often referred to as Dancer pose) because it requires complete concentration while balancing and strengthening. I find this posture to be empowering when I am properly aligned, balanced, and breathing. It affords me the opportunity to cultivate the ability to stay in the moment.

Reverse warrior on Jungfraujoch
Find peace at the top of Europe in reverse warrior

“I love yoga because it is a way for me to recollect and focus my thoughts on myself in a world of constant, continuous information and multi-tasking.  It is my peaceful time, free of interruptions.  Physically, it relaxes and opens areas of my body, like my shoulders, that become tense during the course of the work day.  I was drawn to vinyasa style yoga because I love the constant movement and dance between postures and the strength I have gained from the practice.  I especially love yoga in nature because I am already disconnected from some (or all!) technology, and the yoga takes the peace to the next level.  One of my favorite postures when I am outdoors is reverse warrior, because I love feeling the opening of my hips and rib cage, and it’s relatively safe to do close to the edge of a mountain!  It took me a while to really master the posture and refrain from doing a back bend, focusing on the side bend instead.”  ~ Heather

There are many opportunities to yoga in your park.

Grab your mat, a friend, and get your yoga on!

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

© Hopewell Cultural NHP 2015
© Hopewell Cultural NHP 2015

Dates: Every Saturday from June 4th – July 30th

Time: 9am-10am

Location: Mound City Group Visitor Center

What to bring: Mat, water, and towel

Cost:  Free

Contact and RSVP: Melinda Repko (740)774-1126

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

© San Antonio Missions NHP
© San Antonio Missions NHP

5/24:  7am at Mission Concepcion

6/28: 7am at Mission San Jose

7/26: 7am at Mission San Juan

8/23: 7am at Mission Espada

What to bring: Mat, water, and towel

Cost: Free

Park Contact: Natalie Campbell (210) 534-8875 ext 231